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Chapter 1. Introduction to Book & Web site
Chapter 2. Purposes of Cross: Build, Preserve, Demolish
Chapter 3. The Content & Concession-Seeking Cross
Chapter 4. Constructing the Cross: Your Chance to Testify
Chapter 5. Impeachment Cross: Reliability
Chapter 6. Impeachment Cross: Report
Chapter 7. Impeachment Cross: Reporter
Chapter 8. Character and Conduct in Trial
Chapter 9. Witness Control: Strategies &Techniques
Chapter 10. Preparing the Winning Cross-Examination
Chapter 11. Cross-Examining Expert Witnesses
Chapter 12. Forgetters, Perjurers, Adverse Witnesses, Deponents and More
Chapter 13. Ethical & Legal Boundaries of Cross
Chapter 14. Cases & Assignments
Posted May 27, 2011
The "Cross-Examination Handbook" is an excellent resource both for the law student and for the practicing litigator. The structure, language and familiar case examples engage the reader in each individual topic. The authors provide a context in which to base the tool of cross-examination demonstrating how it should fit within and support the case theory. By identifying the various roles of "builder" or "demolisher" the authors assist the reader to craft cross-examination questions specific to goals related to each witness. Also, the authors emphasize the need to understand and evaluate the opponent's case theory so that cross-examination can be designed to counter each point. Finally, the authors provide checklists that can be used repeatedly with each new witness and new case making this text a valuable resource throughout a litigator's career. This is a necessary and cost-effective resource that should be on every litigator and future litigator's shelf.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 2, 2011
The "Cross-Examination Handbook" is a straightforward yet sophisticated guide for cross-examination, whether you are constructing the cross of an expert or a lay witness. The major reason this book is so valuable and so useful is that it not only explains the technique of cross-exam but, more important, places the cross in the overall structure of a trial. For example, in the expert witness chapter, you are taught (or reminded) that you need to brainstorm ideas for the cross of the expert - whether it is a construtive cross or a destructive cross or a combination. Then, having brainstormed the points you would like to me, the book encourages you to create your own snippet from final argument and to then construct the cross to give you exactly what you need to support that argument. The approach described and illustrated is a valuable lesson for new lawyers and a valuable reminder for those who have been around the block more than a few times. Having tried dozens of cases and having conducted hundreds of cross-examinations, I can say that this book will not only be something I review as part of trial preparation but is also a book to be given to new lawyers in our office. For years I have carved out "thinking time" in my trial preparation to review McElhaney's "Trial Notebook." I have now added this terrific book by Clark, Dekle and Bailey. Randy J. Cox Boone Karlberg P.C. Missoula, MontanaWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 27, 2011
I wholeheartedly endorse this book for law students and young trial lawyers hoping to develop their cross-examination skills, as well as for experienced lawyers seeking to improve theirs. As John Henry Wigmore said, cross-examination is the "greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of the truth." We courtroom mechanics will benefit by adding this tool to our toolbox.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 25, 2011
This "Cross Examination Handbook" is the best instructional treatise on cross-examination that I have seen in thirty years of teaching trial skills. Clear, concise and unerringly 'dead on,' the authors obviously have learned their craft from years of practice in the courtroom trenches. The real-life illustrations are lively and interesting as well as instructive. I wish this book had been available to me when I began my legal career as a prosecutor, and available for me to recommend to my Trial Advocacy course students. I highly recommend it to every litigator who needs a refresher on cross-examination, and to every trial practice student.
Dedman School of Law
SMU, Dallas, Texas
Posted April 2, 2011
This is a terrific book. Wigmore said that cross examination was "beyond any doubt the greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth." But there is an unspoken premise to this assertion---"when done correctly." Far too often cross-examination is at best desultory and tedious and at worse downright injurious to the cross-examining party's case. One must have a plan and a purpose in cross-examination. Think---of all things!---of Joe Pesci in "My Cousin Vinnie." One witness is cross-examined regarding her vision, another as to the time frame he testified to ("were these magic grits?"), and then, having accomplished his purpose, Vinnie was through: "I'm done with this guy" (probably not an advisable way to dismiss the witness, however). The Cross-Examination Handbook by Ronald H. Clark, George R. Dekle, Sr., and William S. Bailey is an invaluable aid to the practitioner (and the student) in employing cross-examination so as to accomplish its purpose as set out by Wigmore---the discovery of the truth. Examined are the purposes of cross-examinination, and how they differ depending on the the theory of the case. One may impeach a witness, have a witness contradict him or herself, or undermine the witness's credibility or accuracy (not all witnesses who are mistaken are liars). Specific guidance on questions for cross-examination to achieve these results is given, noting that different types of questions are appropriate for different purposes, such as leading questions, or interrogatory questions. The Handbook's practical specificity makes it a gem. Sections on cross-examination for bias and interest, for perception, on prior inconsistent statements, on contradiction, and more are included, along with extremely useful checklists. Not to mention how to cross-examine with regard to character, a frequently misunderstood area, often either ignored or butchered. Further, with the increasing use of scientific evidence in trials, cross-examination of expert witnesses has become essential, and the Handbook speaks particularly to this in very practical terms.And one cannot achieve the goals of cross-examination in a particular case without knowing what those goals are for each witness, within the context of the case, which means preparation, and the Handbook describes how to go about it. If there is a more useful and practical book on cross-examination for the practitioner (and again, also the student) then I have not seen it (and don't forget the CD that comes with the book!). Clark, Dekle, and Bailey have made an extremely valuable contribution in this field, which I heartily recommend. Timothy Baughman Chief, Research, Training, and Appeals Wayne Country Prosecutor's Office Detroit, MichiganWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 27, 2011
Clark, Dekle and Bailey's Cross-Examination Handbook is a comprehensive, user-friendly guide that law students, novices and experienced lawyers will depend upon to enhance their courtroom abilities. I highly recommend this book.
The authors have compiled an approach that requires the practitioner to use a total trial approach to cross examination. What is your case and legal theory? What are your opponent's theories? What other information will you need to compile prior to trial? Only then can a lawyer determine the type of cross he will compose. The authors include many brain-storming techniques to use while actually composing a cross-examination.
This Handbook also describes the types of cross examinations that occur at trial. Included here are concession based crosses and various forms of impeachment. The authors are wise to not only include witness control techniques but to discuss the character and conduct of the questioner at trial as well. Both stagecraft and ethical obligations are discussed.
Interspersed throughout the Handbook are chapter and topical checklists as well as illustrative transcripts from famous trials. Examples are taken from cases involving Enron, the Seattle SuperSonics, Ted Bundy and Zacarias Moussaoui, to name a few. The work of famous cross-examiners such as Abraham Lincoln, F. Lee Bailey and Clarence Darrow are also used to illustrate various techniques. The Handbook concludes with case assignments, detailed at length on a CD accompanying the book, that can be used by law school trial advocacy classes or lawyers in continuing legal education workshops.
I think the book's greatest asset is describing strategies to be used against either a type of witness or a type of behavior displayed by a witness at trial. Practitioners are provided examples from experts and liars or biased and argumentative witnesses.
The authors stress preparation and flexibility in the manner these types of witnesses are examined. As a lawyer of over 25 years, this 'refresher course' material is invaluable. This is the type of information that will cause all lawyers - novices or experienced - to return to this Handbook time and time again to prepare and hone their techniques prior to trial.
Posted March 11, 2011
I enthusiastically recommend this book to the beginning and experienced practitioner alike. The authors make what could have been a tedious topic interesting with charts, summaries and transcripts from famous and not so famous trials. Included are transcripts from the O.J.Simpson and Scopes monkey trial and Abraham Lincoln's cross, which resulted in exonerating his client of murder. As a prosecutor of more than 30 years, an adjunct professor of trial advocacy and someone who is still trying to master the art of cross-examination, I can state that this book will arm you with the skills and tools you need to conduct a successful cross-examination.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 4, 2011
Most lawyers do not have a clue how to do a cross. They stand up and bluster and shout but have no purpose to the cross. If that sounds like you (or you are a non lawyer and you want to learn how to ferret the truth out of someone) BUY THIS BOOK!
Starting from the the primer/refresher on the purposes of cross exam to the excellent materials on concession based cross exam you are reminded of why you are standing up to cross the witness in the first place. The section on witness control is especially useful as this is the area most attorneys are vulnerable in.
The use of real transcripts to demonstrate the effective use of the techniques described is outstanding and help you "live" the lesson in a way you never could if someone was simply describing to you how to do it.
As a prosecutor who has spent years taking young lawyers and trying to teach them how to try a case I can recommend The Cross Examination Handbook without hesitation.
Posted February 16, 2011
An excellent book that should be on every trial lawyer's shelf. The book clearly explains how to successfully cross every type of witness you are likely to encounter at trial. The authors are very knowledgeable and have written an extremely informative and entertaining book. Both experienced and young lawyers will benefit from this thoroughly researched book that has hundreds of examples and tips.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 10, 2011
For any lawyer - young, seasoned, or yet to be - this is a must have resource! Whether you are looking to hone your skills or learn a few new tricks, the Cross Examination Handbook provides lessons that are made easy to follow and even easier to weave into your own practice. I highly recommend it!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 29, 2011
No text was provided for this review.